This proposal requests support for continuation of T32 MH16804 (Years 36-40). The most recent renewal (Years 31-35) proposed to reinvigorate this long term successful T32 by shifting the emphasis of training from predominantly clinical research to one providing translational neuroscience research training. We can now report that this transition has been highly successful as evidenced by a number of metrics: recruitment of translational neuroscience investigators, including increased numbers of M.D., Ph.D. trainees, female trainees, minority trainees, and trainees with disabilities; high rates of first grant fundig of graduates; research quality (as measured by the impact factor of journals in which appointees have published), and; successful placement of graduates. The achievements of T32 MH16084 have been mirrored by a substantial expansion of the Faculty of the Translational Neuroscience Program within the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh, and a corresponding increase in the number of outstanding applicants, such that the annual number of eligible applicants has exceeded our slots 10-fold. As a result, we look to expand the number of postdoctoral trainee slots in the current application to a total of five. This will afford opportunties to these many outstanding candidates and provide a greater critical mass for translational neuroscience training activities. All trainees benefit from our established training program in translational neuroscience which has been designed to provide practical training in techniques and strategies such that trainees' resulting research can be translated across multiple levels of discovery. Trainees with prior basic neuroscience training further receive clinical exposures designed to help them develop fluency in the clinical, pathophysiologic, and pathologic manifestations of mental illness, and; clinically trained individuals enhance their fluency in basic neuroscience knowledge. In addition, our trainees benefit from the development of individualized training plans and from participation in our highly successful Career and Research Development curriculum. T32 MH16804 continues to be led by Robert A. Sweet, M.D., a senior translational neuroscience investigator with a record of outstanding mentorship of translational neuroscience investigators. Dr. Sweet will be supported by new Co- Director, Mary L. Phillips, M.D., M.D. (Cantab), a senior clinical and translational neuroscience investigator and acclaimed mentor of imaging neuroscience investigators. Our Program Faculty has been enriched by a number of investigators who bring many additional state of the art approaches to translational neuroscience studies of mental illness. By combining the strong track record in the successful training of psychiatry researchers established during the past 34 years with the emphasis on new discovery and new methodologies developed during the past 4 years of funding, T32 MH16804 is now poised to impact the field by preparing an expanded cohort of translational neuroscientists to make transformative discoveries in psychiatry.

Public Health Relevance

'Training for Transformative Discovery in Psychiatry' is an institutional training grant designed to educate physicians and Ph.D. scientists in conducting research which utilizes the recent advances in our understanding of brain development and function to lead to discoveries of novel treatments for mental illness.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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Program Officer
Chavez, Mark
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University of Pittsburgh
Schools of Medicine
United States
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